Like so many people, the young me was a joke when it came to how he viewed parenting and how awesome he was going to be at it. There were going to be none of the mistakes I saw my parents making, like not listening when they were being fed a perfectly sound excuse for why my English mark was down because the teacher was dumb.
About the only way things are exactly what I thought they would be is how much I love my kids. I guess I experienced how much my parents loved me and my siblings – and we were shits of kids – so I saw that coming.
Unlike these ten things:
ONE: I can survive on next to no sex
Oh, how I remember the heady days of courtship, where sex was simply a nice way to say good morning. Sex used to be just this thing we did because we loved each other. These days there’s still a bit of that but it’s become so much more. It’s now also this thing we do because if we don’t get jiggy with it occasionally we know we’re going to rip each other’s heads off. We’ve become sex junkies. I suspect we’re primarily in it for the hit of endorphins.
TWO: I can act
“I’d like to acknowledge the role my children have played in my achieving this Academy Award.” I only ever tried out for backstage roles in our high school plays and now I think I should have had more faith in my acting abilities. I can be pissing myself laughing on the inside while simultaneously chastising a kid for drawing eyebrows and a moustache on her baby sister with permanent marker. I can also feign super excitement when I’m shopping with my little girls and they spot a new Peppa Pig product. That’s a skill right there.
THREE: I’m happy with spag bog two or even three nights a week
remember eating a lot more solid cuts of meat before we had kids. I still could, of course, but that would entail cooking two separate meals, and ain’t nobody got time for dat. Of course, my kids would prefer we had spag bog more often but I draw the line at this – otherwise they won’t get to enjoy shepherd’s pie, rissoles or tacos as often.
FOUR: I can’t do primary school homework
I’ve tried things like teaching my kids long division, but they scold me and tell me I’m doing it wrong. While this can undermine my parental authority I usually claw back the mantle of Awesome Dad by grabbing a calculator and showing the kids how you can spell BOOBS with numbers.
FIVE: I have no shame
It turns out I am okay with going to the shops in tracksuit pants. But only in so far as I don’t think about it. I mean if it’s after dinner and we need formula or nappies or milk or painkillers or coffee then I’m in the car and I’m walking those aisles because we probably need it NOW. I am not changing first. I really think people have to look on the bright side here and be thankful – if they can’t see my ass crack peaking out the top of my duds then I’m wearing a pair I haven’t inadvertently pulled the cord out of. There’s your silver lining, fellow residents of G-town.
SIX: I will try to catch vomit with my bare hands
Furthermore, I will cup it into my chest and/or stomach if it starts to drip. I don’t care if I’m wearing a suit and I’m on my way to a wedding, I do NOT want to have to clean the carpet.
SEVEN: I didn’t think there’d be so much washing
Not that I gave it much thought. Any thought. But it still surprises the hell out of me how many outfits each kids can go through in a day. Even taking into account I see anything on the floor as dirty, and the kids see anything in the cupboard as needing to be dragged out onto the floor, I suspect there’s more than five kids living here and my wife is waiting for the right moment to mention this to me.
EIGHT: I have a new set of standards
Who’d have thought I’d be okay with my kid digging into the back of their nappy then trying to hand a fresh turd to a house guest but if they swear I’d internally squirm? Why? Because in the first act I see sharing – which is an admirable thing for a little kid to display. Plus no one is going to think they learned to give away butt-mud from me. But the swearing? Well, they sure didn’t pick that up from watching Play School. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say their mother sure has a lot to answer for. Why she married me would be a good place to start.
NINE: I’m okay with touching poo
And by okay I mean if I get a smear on my hand, or even a bit trapped under my fingernail, I don’t even change my facial expression these days. The only thing I’m shitty about is knowing my wife knew it was in there when she pretended to be busy in the kitchen and asked me to check on the baby’s nappy
TEN: I can survive on next to no sleep
As a 20-something, I would wake up on Friday morning to go to work and not hit the hay again until Sunday lunch. Yep, I was that stupid. But it’s held me in good stead as a parent because all that self-induced sleep deprivation was good training for parenthood – in much the same way kissing a pillow was good practice for sex. Fark, I’m tired.
Raising a family on little more than laughs
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